Become the center of attention at gatherings by mastering these English idioms that describe parties and celebrations.

If you’re learning English online, you’re likely aware that incorporating phrases and idioms is an effective way to sound like a native speaker. This article will elucidate some of the most prevalent English phrases and idioms associated with parties.

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Phrases and Vocabulary for Celebrations

Before delving into the idioms, let’s familiarize ourselves with the vocabulary. Here are typical questions, words, and phrases in English related to partying.


Words & phrases to describe what to do at a party

  •         Chat with friends
  •         Play party games
  •         Swim in the pool
  •         Flirt
  •         Attend parties
  •         Dance all night long
  •         Have a couple of drinks
  •         Socialize (meet new people)
  •         Have fun

Words & phrases to describe the music at a party

  •         Right up my alley
  •         It was too relaxing
  •         It was upbeat/rocking
  •         It was nice

Phrases to describe the atmosphere at the party


  •         It was laid back (chill)
  •         It was boring
  •         It was electrifying/thrilling
  •         It was so wild/crazy


Words and phrases to describe the décor at a party

  •         Pretty cool
  •         Funky
  •         A bit tacky
  •         Themed


5 English Party Idioms

In addition to the phrases mentioned earlier, here are some idioms we can employ to depict parties:

1. Have a whale of a time

This expression signifies “having an excellent time and thoroughly enjoying oneself.”

For example, We had a whale of a time at Claire’s birthday party.


2. The life of the party

This idiom is utilized to characterize an individual who is the most vibrant or entertaining person at a party.

For example, He’s always been the life of the party.


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3. Throw a party

This signifies the act of arranging, coordinating, and hosting a party.

For example, Kate and Alex are throwing a party next Sunday.

4. Billy-no-mates / Norma no-mates

This expression is employed to portray an individual, be it a man referred to as “Billy” or a woman named “Norma,” who has a limited or nonexistent circle of friends. It’s worth noting that this idiom is specific to British slang and is not used in America.

For example, Matt didn’t want to look like Billy-no-mates, so he took Andrew with him.

5. A social butterfly

The final idiom in our compilation is employed to characterize a sociable individual who is extroverted, possesses a substantial number of friends, and is consistently participating in parties and other social gatherings.

For example, David is a bit of a social butterfly.

“At every party, there are two kinds of people — those who want to go home and those who don’t. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other.” – Ann Landers


Examining the aforementioned phrases can initiate your journey towards fluency (and socializing), but to reach that level, you’ll likely require more interaction and hands-on experience.

What is your English level?

Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.